Sunday, August 30, 2015

New Testament- Lesson 120

Matthew Chapter 17- Part 5

Miracle in the mouth of a fish- (Matthew 17:24-27)

When Jesus and his disciples had come to Capernaum, those who received the temple tax came to Peter and said, "Does your Teacher not pay the temple tax?" He said, "Yes." When he had come into the house, Jesus knowing all, asked Peter, "What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth take customs or taxes, from their sons or from strangers?" Peter said to him, "From strangers." Jesus replied, "Then the sons are free. Nevertheless, so that we do not offend them, go to the sea, cast in a hook, and take the fish that comes up first. And when you have opened its mouth, you will find a piece of money; take that and give it to them for me and you."

Temple tax was a tax that was used for the upkeep of the Jewish Temple.......
This is what everyone among those who are numbered shall give: half a shekel according to the shekel of the sanctuary. The half-shekel shall be an offering to the Lord. (Exodus 30:13)
Special tax collectors were assigned to collect the tax because some did not care to pay it.
The tax was a half shekel (two drachmas) and Jesus miraculously provided a four drachma coin to pay for Peter and for himself.

Interestingly, Jesus remarked that the sons are free from paying the tax, implying that he being the son of the Most High God did not have to pay tax for the upkeep of the temple that belonged to his Father.
Matthew doesn't write that Peter did what Jesus asked him to, but that is a certainity.
Though the name of the fish is not mentioned here, Tilapia is sometimes called St. Peter's fish.

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